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High Gain Selective Metal Organic Framework Preconcentrators - Patent 8123834

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1. Field of the Invention The invention generally relates to analyte collection and is useful, for example, in analyte detection and analysis systems and methods. In particular, the invention concerns preconcentrators, which are used in a wide variety of collection andanalysis systems, and the use of metal organic framework molecules as sorbents in preconcentrators or similar devices, including particularly portable micropreconcentrators. 2. Related Art A preconcentrator is a device that is used to collect a sample for analysis of particular constituents in the sample called analytes. A preconcentrator is particularly useful in detecting analytes that are present in very low concentrations ina sample. For example, a preconcentrator may be used in combination with a detection device to collect a sample, thereby increasing its concentration, before transferring it to a detector for analysis of analytes of interest. As a low-concentrationsample gas containing a mixture of compounds passes through a preconcentrator, compounds are captured and sorbed by the preconcentrator over time. During preconcentration, the concentration of the analyte may increase by up to over 1000 times theoriginal concentration of the analyte in the sample. The captured compounds are then desorbed, passed out of the preconcentrator, and conducted to the detector for analysis. For example, a preconcentrator may be used with a gas chromatograph (GC), a vital instrument used to analyze complex compound mixtures in a variety of environments including clinical, aerospace, military, process control, and other applications. A preconcentrator is required in high performance GC systems because the resolving power of the GC column or the sensitivity of the sensor is often limited by the low ppb (part-per-billion) concentrations of analytes with a wide range of volatility. When connected to a GC, a discrete sample is first captured in the preconcentrator and then thermally desorbed to a polymer-co

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